First time in Paris with spouse who eats no mammals: what's good?
OK, promised the Woman in the Hat I'd take her to Paris for her (ahem...) "big birthday". So, we've got tickets and a hotel reserve in the 12th ar. for two weeks late October, early November. We don't eat mammals, ever, but will eat pretty much anything that flies (she's never met a duck she didn't like, so I've already have the Lintillac reservation) or swims.
I've got some understanding of what I should expect (no "American" breakfasts; lunch better deal than dinner in snappy places, prix fixe often the way to go..)
Some idea of our tastes: we did two trips to the UK (with kid in tow; he's gone to school now) eating mostly from the higher priced end of "Cheap Eats In London" and were pretty uniformly happy...
Assuming that I'd like, if possible, to keep us under 150-200 euro per day, at least SOME days (and I understand that some nice dinners can set me back that much per person) what shouldn't I miss?
I had one of my favorite meals in France at Le Pamphlet in May: gnocchi with escargot and pesto, sea bream over potatoes, and strawberries sauteed with wine. Absolutely delicious! And reasonable - two 3-course dinners and 1 bottle of wine for 100E.
I'd also recommend L'As du Falafel in the Marais for amazing falafels. Get it to go and picnic at the Place des Vosges.
For Lunch only:
LES DEJEUNERS GOURMANDS DE L'ESCARGOT
Laurent Couegnas, Chef Propriétaire,
imagine une sélection d'entrées, de plats et de desserts
réalisée avec nos plus beaux produits de saison.
ENTRéE, PLAT et CAFé
PLAT, DESSERT et CAFé
ENTRéE, PLAT, DESSERT et CAFé
ENTRéE, PLAT, DESSERT, CAFé
et UN VERRE DE VIN sélectionné par notre sommelier
(ces menus du marché ne sont disponibles que pour le déjeuner)
I'm not big on mammal-eating myself and have had many great meals in Paris, no problem. Recent hightlights would include Willi's Wine Bar, Fish, Fables de la Fontaine, L'Ambroisie (this one is significantly more expensive than the others). Pretty much every place will have a roast chicken, sole meuniere (sorry if the spelling is wrong here), things like that.
I second the suggestion for Les Fables de la Fontaine... Christian Constant does fish with a lot of personality.
I ate at Uitr last night and really enjoyed it. I started with razor clams grilled with parsley-garlic-butter... excellent flavor and I loved sponging up the butter and juices with the bread. Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of grit. Second course -- bar grilled with olive oil. Delicate, fresh flesh, very light. Perfection. My husband started with 1/2 dozen oysters, followed with swordfish with bacon and sage. A heartier dish, but very savory, warming, salty.
It's a good kitchen with good prices, but on a Saturday night it was empty. We were one of 5 tables, which was a bit sad. Not sure if it's because the restaurant is quite far from the metro, though it's near a few good bus lines.
P.S. FYI for your planning purposes, Uitr is open on Sundays
OK, Les Fables de la Fontaine is the real stuff; the Woman in The Hat's socks were duly knocked off, and (contrary to my usual restaurant cynicism) this was NOT food that I could figure out how to make at home, or even could probably make at home without a bunch of training, explicit step-by-step directions, and access to a bunch of equipment and ingredients. It's going onto my profile.
. . .and another smaller victory: L'As du Falafel . Thw W.i.T.H. does not like falafel, at least as she has encountered it in the US. Won't eat it. Last week, we were wandering around in the Marais, and I saw this place, and based on reviews, basically put on the "please baby, please baby baby please!" bit, so we got to-gos. She was forced to concede that it was, well, "pretty good". Monday, we're headed towards a museum, and she says "How about we go to the falafel place in the Marais again?" So we did, and actually sat down this time; got the lemonade, this time, too...
I'd also add that, based upon WiTH's penchant for all things duck-ish, we hit the "all-duck, all the time" Domaine De Lintillac, which was pretty tasty, reasonably priced, but just too overwhelmingly rich for us to be able to finish all of much of anything. When confronted with a carte of salads that started with one with melted goat cheese, and went up the sat-fat scale, through salad with gizzards confit, up to a "salad" with confit, smoked fattened duck breast (think "duck bacon"!), pomme frites, AND walnuts, I tried to persuade the waiter I wanted just a green salad, like the goat cheese one, but without the goat cheese. "But no!" sez he, "Without the cheese, it is like nothing!" . . . and we didn't even explore the range of "fois gras with more fois gras" entrees....
Domaine de Lintillac
10 Rue Saint-Augustin, Paris, Île-de-France 75002, FR
Pretty much every restaurant in the book, except probably Ribouldingue. Most will have a bird and a fish course, most probably many. Foie gras is on your radar. For Fish, the great addresses are Le Duc, Gaya indeed, Le Divellec ($$$$$), La Cagouille, l'Uitr (those last two in your budget). Stay away from Le Sévero and l'Entrecôte, of course.